Pumpkin Walnut Cookies

by Oct 2, 2008

“Pumpkin Walnut Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting” —yum! Way to go Magnolia! After a few minutes daydreaming through that book, oh, how I wanted a cakey pumpkin cookie. But I didn’t want the heavy slather of powdered sugar icing. Time to get to work in the kitchen.

I soon learned that cookies without frosting need more spice. I increased the ginger from 1/4 teaspoon to 2 teaspoons. Cinnamon up by a factor of 4. I added nutmeg, because I love nutmeg. While I was at it, I switched out the refined white flour for whole grain oat and barley. It worked! A pumpkin cookie that gets you in the mood for fall, but doesn’t send your blood sugar into the sky. Go ahead, eat a couple for breakfast.

(The model cookies in the photo are sporting a modified brown butter glaze, but due to the moisture level of the cookie, the frosting never stayed dry. Forget it. Leave them plain. Or, try browning the butter that goes in the cookie. Hey…there’s an idea!)

Pumpkin Walnut Cookies
makes 3 dozen cookies

1 ½ cups barley flour
1 ½ cups oat flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (preferably freshly grated)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

1 ½ cups packed natural brown sugar (I like the light brown Muscovado from India Tree and Billington’s)
1 cup canned organic pumpkin
4 tablespoons unsalted organic butter, softened to room temperature
2 large cage free eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup walnut pieces

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sprinkle walnuts onto cookie sheet pan (lined with a silpat or not, it doesn’t really matter here with the nuts) and bake for 10 minutes until toasted. (This brings out the flavor of the nuts and is a nice technique to use whenever you add nuts to your baked creations.) Remove from oven and transfer nuts to a plate to cool.

2. Crank up the oven to 375 degrees F. Wipe out any nut crumbs from the cookie sheet pan used above and line again with silpat or a sheet of baking parchment paper (this time it does matter). Measure the flours and spices into a bowl, whisk to combine, and set aside.

3. In the workbowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter with the sugar. Add pumpkin, eggs and vanilla and mix to combine. Stir in toasted walnut pieces.

4. For each cookie, scoop a heaping tablespoon of dough and place on lined sheet pan, leaving a couple inches between dough mounds. Bake for 15 minutes or until cookies spring back when lightly touched. Let cool on sheet pan for 5 minutes, then move cookies to a cooling rack.

Amy’s Kitchen Coach Tips

  • Soften hard brown sugar by microwaving it for 30 seconds. Other ideas are out here on Wiki Answers.
  • Always toast nuts before you use them in your baked items. 10 minutes at 350 degrees is a general rule of thumb. Toasting enhances the nut’s flavor and improves texture.

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